To begin understanding the following topic, you need to understand what a “prolapse” is. A prolapse is when a certain part or organ within the body slips forward or down.
The cervix is typically not located straight up and centered inside of the vaginal canal. It is usually found towards the back (closer to the anus) and slightly off to one side (left or right).
This does not necessarily mean that you have a tipped or tilted cervix or prolapse. Also, keep in mind that everyone is different and will not find their cervix in the exact same location as the next person.
In most cases, an individual will not know that they have a tipped or tilted cervix or prolapse unless they feel something protruding from the vaginal canal. Otherwise, a visit to the doctor will be needed to give a proper diagnosis.
Topics Covered in This Section
Types of Prolapses
Many people experience at least one, and sometimes more, of the several types of pelvic organ prolapses, even if they may not be aware of it. There are also different degrees of prolapses. Some can, and will, correct themselves on their own, while others may need medical assistance.
1) Bladder Prolapse – Cystocele
This is the most common kind of pelvic organ prolapse. This happens when the bladder presses against the wall of the vagina.
2) Urethral Prolapse – Urethrocele
This is when the urethral tube, which carries the urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, curves and/or widens.
3) Uterine Prolapse
This happens when the uterus drops from its normal position, and allows the cervix to press further into the vagina.
4) Vaginal Vault Prolapse
This type of prolapse normally only happens after a hysterectomy. When the vagina no longer has the support from the uterus. It may drop into the vaginal canal.
5) Small Bowel Prolapse – Enterocele
This is when the small bowel presses against the wall of the vagina.
6) Rectocele – If the tissues separating the vagina and rectum are too weak, it can cause a bulge in the back wall of the vagina.
Common Causes of Prolapses
- All of these prolapses are caused by stretched or weakened ligaments, tissues, fascia and/or muscles (pelvic floor muscles) that support the pelvic area.
- It is most common for someone who has been pregnant, or has given birth, to experience one or more of these prolapses due to the strain from pregnancy or delivery.
- Breastfeeding can lessen estrogen levels and contribute to weakening the vaginal walls.
- Aging may be another factor in experiencing a prolapse: with falling estrogen levels during and after menopause, the pelvic floor may lose some of its strength and elasticity.
Many people who have a pelvic organ prolapse do not have symptoms and may not even realize the prolapse occurred. These are minor and do not cause any issues or pain.
Symptoms of Prolapses
- Pelvic pressure
- An abnormal bulge inside your vagina
- Feeling as though something is protruding out of your vagina
- A pulling or stretching in the groin area
- Lower back pain
- Painful intercourse
- Spotting or bleeding
- Urinary problems or incontinence
- Problems with bowel movements
A severe prolapse rarely gets better on its own. Speak with your doctor if you’re unsure. They may recommend that you see a special physical therapist or have surgery done to correct the prolapse and get your organs back to where they belong!
Things That Can Worsen Prolapses
- Chronic cough/allergies or sneezing
- Heavy lifting
Menstrual Cup Usage with a Prolapse
Even with a prolapse, many people have been able to use a menstrual cup successfully and without pain. The key here is to find a cup that doesn’t cause any discomfort and is still effective.
Because a prolapse can cause the vagina to be shaped differently than a “normal” vagina, it may take some trial and error to find the right cup, position, and angle. However, with the right one, it should be both possible and comfortable.
The majority of people with a prolapse of any kind have reported that a shorter and/or wider cup tends to fit better. Firmness depends on the individual, but some feel that their cups actually help support their vaginal walls rather than worsening the prolapse. You can use our menstrual cup quiz to find the right cup for you if you have a prolapse.
Why You Need a Menstrual Cup Kit
If you’re going to use a menstrual cup with a prolapse, it’s best to start off with both small and large sizes, so that you can find one that fits perfectly. The Venus Cup offers a Starter Kit, and is highly recommended! With both small and large cups, it offers everything you are looking for in a menstrual cup.
The Venus Cup also holds more menstrual blood than most cups on the market today, making it stand out and lead the way! It has wonderful customer care and support should you have any questions, and is made of material that is environmentally friendly! If you have a prolapse, the Venus Cup is a great way to go when you want to choose a menstrual cup for your periods that will last!
Can a Menstrual Cup Cause a Prolapse?
In short, yes. A menstrual cup can contribute to a slight prolapse if the cup creates a vacuum while being removed. However, since we tend to stop pulling down on the cup when we feel any pain, this would probably only be a minor prolapse in which the body can and will correct itself. To avoid any pain, discomfort, or minor prolapse, make sure to release any suction created by the cup before removing it.
Ways to release the suction:
- Avoid tugging the cup down by the stem
- Pinch the base of the cup to force out any air
- Wiggle or rock the cup back and forth while gently pulling downward
- Use a single finger to slightly compress the side of the cup
If you feel like you tugged down on your cervix too hard, discontinue using your cup for a day or two, so that your body adjusts itself back to normal.
Again, if you are unsure, please seek medical attention.
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Okay so this all may tmi and I’m sorry in advance. . I use the SALT cup in size small. I’m 23 and found that the regular size is too big. I’m on my period and have been using the cup until today. I slept with it in like I do normally and woke up to the cup far up and tilted , it was an absolute pain to remove the cup. I got it removed and I’m having a slight discomfort down there. I’m only spotting from my period now which is a dark brownish color. I went pee and I have this pressure feeling on my pelvic , I wiped and there was my period blood ( dark brownish) and then bright red. It’s only when I use the bathroom or have an urge to push. I’m not sure what’s going on or if this is a sign or a prolapse of some sort. I tried to google everything but it’s just telling me that your period blood changes. I obviously know this but these two bloods are completely different and it only happens when I use the bathroom or push.
Hello, I’m only 17 but I started using a menstrual cup this year. It’s honestly been really hard to not cause leakage or for the cup to open when inserting it so I haven’t gotten the hang of it. Yesterday (I’m on my period), I was trying to put it in when I caused the suction by accident in the entrance somehow. I noticed immediately that there was a bulge in the top of my vaginal entrance. There has always been a bulge there but it was more inside – now it’s sticking out a bit and I’m scared that I caused a urethrocele. It’s not common in teens I think and I haven’t even had sex yet.
I told my mother and I’m going to the doctors next week to check if anything happened.
Hmmm, what you’re describing sounds like the urethral sponge. A bulge just inside the entrance to the vagina located (up) near the bladder or pubic bone. It’s also where the “G-spot” is said to be. It can become swollen especially during arousal to close off urination during penetration. I know you said that you haven’t had sex, but you don’t have to have sex for it to become swollen.
If the cup opened and created a suction, it could cause blood to rush to the area. Similar to when you put a suction cup on your skin and it becomes swollen and/or red or gives you a hickey (bursting small superficial blood vessels under the skin).
I know it hasn’t been too long since you left this comment but has there been any change? Are you experiencing any symptoms that are typically associated with a urethrocele prolapse?
I’m concerned and would love to hear what the doctor says even if your appointment isn’t until next week.
RedHerringTV on YouTube
So I normally use the I stead soft cup(disk) for my periods. I was diagnosed with bladder prolapse on Friday and the urogyn put a size 2 pessary cup in me. It is one I can not remove myself. As I go up in sizes
I will be able to. I did ask him this question and he didn’t know as he is not familiar with the “cups.” Can I still wear my instead soft cups while I have the pessary in? I should start my period w/I the week and I don’t go to get upsized on the pessary until June 11th
There are many different types of pessaries so it’s hard to say if a cup or disk would work while it’s in place.
I would suggest explaining how a disk works and where it is positioned.
*A disk sits like a hammock under the cervix. It slides into the vaginal fornix nearest to the rectum and gets tucked above the pubic bone. The collection reservoir is very thin and flexible like a film.
Although they’re not familiar with the device, they might be able to tell you if either the pessary or the disk will be in the way of each other.
A menstrual disk sits differently than a menstrual cup, and there are many different shapes and sizes of pessaries that they both may work at the same time.
You might also mention that people have been successful in using a birth control ring while also using a menstrual cup/disk.
These questions shouldn’t need a doctor’s visit. A phone call should suffice.
Good luck and stay healthy.
RedHerringTV on YouTube
sometimes when the mooncup might be too high, i push it down with my pelvic muscles so that i can reach it. is this wrong? if it is wrong, what else can i do if i can’t reach it?
That’s 100% the correct way to do it if the cup is a little too high 🙂
If the cup collects your flow and you can remove it easily, then there’s no reason for you to search for another cup.
However, you always have the option of trying a longer cup if you choose.
Great job! Keep on doing what you’re doing 🙂
RedHerringTV on YouTube
Will the suction of a cup make a prolapse (cystocele) worst? Since I’ve been using a cup I feel more aware of my prolapse though that could be a) a coincidence or b) that using the cup is making me more aware of my vagina and prolapse. I really want to be able to use a cup as I’ve found menstrual discs impractical (leaking when you pee really defeats the purpose). Thanks
The bottom line is that it is possible that using a cup can make a prolapse worse.
BUT, not all cups will create a strong seal, and breaking any seal that it does create will minimize the suction while the cup is being removed.
Finding a cup that fits well in terms of length, might make things easier as you will be able to reach the base, pinch it to force any air out of the cup, and break the seal.
If you do not have a sensitive bladder, I would suggest trying a cup that’s on the firmer side. These don’t seem to create as strong of a seal as some of the softer cups.
I have a prolapse and started wearing a cup but it started coming down. I think that it’s pulling the prolapse further. Would a disk work with a prolapse? I guess they sit in the same place as a ring pessary would? Do you know of any that are particularly firm/rigid that might offer the same kind of support as a ring pessary?